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Senior judge becomes city’s new Honorary Recorder

Published: Wednesday, 12th October 2022

A civic ceremony has taken place to mark the rare occurrence of the swearing in of a new Honorary Recorder for Stoke-on-Trent.

Her Honour Judge Sally Hancox, a senior judge in the city, was formally appointed to the role in a ceremony led by Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain. She takes on the role from long-standing judge His Honour Paul Glenn, who has served the city for many years.

The formal event took place in Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s council chamber last night (Tuesday).

Her Honour Judge Sally Hancox’s appointment has been consulted on and agreed by the Lord Chief Justice. The title has a long legal history, dating back to a charter granted by King Charles II in 1662, which made provision for the appointment of a recorder – the judge of the town – and for the manner of his appointment. The recorder was originally a person with legal knowledge appointed by the mayor or alderman of the corporation to ‘record’ the proceedings of their courts and customs of the city. Such recordings were regarded as the highest evidence of fact. In the present day, the appointment is purely an honorary one that maintains a valuable link between the city and its criminal courts.

Judge Sally Hancox became a circuit judge serving Stoke-on-Trent in January 2018, and was appointed as the resident judge at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court from 1 March 2022.

The formal proceedings also saw the swearing in of new Area and Assistant Coroners, led by Andrew Barkley, His Majesty’s Senior Coroner for North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain said: “It is a source of great civic pride to be able to appoint Her Honour Judge Sally Hancox as the city’s Honorary Recorder and swear in Area and Assistant Aoroners for our city and Staffordshire. Judge Hancox takes over from His Honour Judge Paul Glenn who served our city as the resident crown court judge for 14 years, and a judge for a total of 18 years. I formally thank Judge Glenn for his unstinting and loyal service.

“While this honorary role in modern times is a civic and ceremonial one, it provides an important link between the council, the people and the courts.”

Council leader Abi Brown said: “Appointing Her Honour Judge Sally Hancox as the city’s Honorary Recorder was a unique opportunity to bring together representatives of the city’s legal and judicial communities with representatives from the law schools of our local universities to help to continue the relationship of such important professional services for the city for the future.

“Similarly, our Senior Coroner, Area Coroner and Assistant Coroners are independent judicial office holders who carry out a crucial public service in establishing the cause of death, lessons learnt and justice done for the residents of our city and Staffordshire.

“Both these offices help unite our judiciary, our democracy and the residents of our city.”